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Wishing They’d Play Nice November 21, 2007

Posted by chuckwh in Barack Obama, Barak Obama, Hillary, Hillary Clinton, Obama.
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Today I find myself hoping that Hillary and Obama start to play a little nicer with each other. The reason is based on pure strategy. If Hillary wins the nomination, it seems to me that a Hillary/Obama ticket could very possibly lead to 16 years of non-Republican governance.

If you want to see the full effects of what can happen when a country changes its political pendulum check out the video here:

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/mlasalle/detail?blogid=38&entry_id=22097

When Ronald Reagan was elected, it signaled a massive political tsunami that has had America reeling for more than a quarter century.

Imagine an American president doing what Richard Nixon, a Republican, did, and imposing wage and price controls. The right wing would probably scramble to Texas and declare it a sovereign state, just to get away from the horrors of federal economic controls.

If progressives want to return to liberalism, it will require more than the obvious necessity of capturing hearts and minds. It will require that Democrats (sadly, the closest thing we have to liberalism) don’t shoot themselves in the foot when it is so clear that the government is theirs for the taking for a very long time.

If Obama wins, I’m sure Hillary won’t be the Vice Presidential candidate, but if Hillary wins, Obama seems like a perfect fit. Right now, the attacks are really fairly soft. Candidates have taken bigger shots at each other and found themselves as running mates. But I hope both sides keep a close eye on their gun happy artillery men.

Obama Visits Havana August 21, 2007

Posted by chuckwh in Al Gore, Barack Obama, Barak Obama, Cuba, Election 2008, elections, Havana, News and politics, Obama.
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On what has become a fixation of Democratic candidates on the American campaign tour, Barack Obama visited Havana, Cuba, today. He is the sixth Democratic candidate to visit Havana during this campaign season. Diplomatic relations with Cuba have been rockier than many suspected after Gore initiated the Havana Proposals shortly after the Democratic rout of Republicans in the last congressional election, but it has not stopped the march of candidates into Habana.

American diplomats have had to walk a fine line between the obvious necessity of treating Cuba like a normal person, and Raul Castro’s love affair with Hugo Chavez.

Chavez, although he has made several “I Love Al Gore” pronouncements, has nationalized and renationalized most of the hard core industrial infrastructure in Venezuela.

Obama’s reaction to his visit was a mixture of happiness and concern.

“On one hand, it’s good to see the new trade pact taking hold,” he said, referring to a new trade package between the U.S. and Cuba, “but, on a personal level, it is difficult to be a witness to the commercialism and greed that is pushing the folks who have been the backbone of this economy inland. I’d like to know what becomes of them.”

Obama then toured the suburbs of Havana and the adjoining countryside.

In a political season bereft of major issues, Obama tried to seize one: “This is a beautiful country. Now that we have established relations with Cuba, think eminent domain, multiplied ten fold.”

Obama Says He’ll Nuke China If It Helps Him Get Elected August 1, 2007

Posted by chuckwh in Al Gore, Al Queda, Barack Obama, Barak Obama, Hillary Clinton, Iowa Caucus, Obama, Politics, President Gore, Terrorism.
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Senator Barack Obama today said he’d nuke China if it would help him get elected. The hawkish statement was said in the aftermath of polls showing he has lost ground to Vice President Hillary Clinton after the recent YouTube debate that many pundits claimed demonstrated Clinton’s experience over Obama.

“If we have actionable intelligence suggesting that, say, China was prepared to launch a strike against Tawain, then, not only would I have to reconsider my former position vis a vis talking to hostile leadership, I would have to seriously consider the possibility of an all out nuclear strike,” Obama wrote in a long email to The Gore Years. “The American public should get what it wants, and any consequences derived from those desires should be born fully by the electorate.”

“Imagine,” the email continued, “a world in which George Bush had won the election instead of Al Gore. Many of the foreign policy heavyweights Bush was considering bringing into his administration, people like Paul Wolfowitz and Donald Rumsfeld, were advocating an invasion of Iraq, which of course would have been disastrous. I, and almost all the military and intelligence experts I’ve talked to, have felt that such an action would have resulted in possibly a decades-long quagmire. But if, following such a disastrous policy, the American people would have re-elected a President responsible for enacting that policy, then the American people would themselves be culpable. Luckily, of course, that is not the path we went down.”

“However,” he continued in apparent reference to the recent dip in the polls, “the American people appear to be engaged in a bit of pro-war sentimental fancy, and I’m willing to accommodate that.”

Clinton, Obama Bicker on YouTube Debate July 24, 2007

Posted by chuckwh in Barack Obama, Barak Obama, Hillary Clinton, Neo-cons, News and politics, Obama, YouTube.
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The stars of CNN’s YouTube debate were clearly Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, but it was Clinton’s reaction to a question posted to Obama that is curious, given the success the Gore administration has had dealing with hostile regimes.

Stephen Sorta of Diamond Bar, Calif. asked the candidates if they’d be willing in their first year in office to talk with the leaders who, from the viewpoint of some U.S. policymakers, are considered the world’s troublemakers, including presidents Fidel Castro of Cuba, and Kim Jong Il of North Korea.

SEN. OBAMA: I would. Not only has this been the guiding diplomatic principle of this country, but this administration has demonstrated the importance of maintaining this approach with its successful rapprochement with Iran and Fatah in Gaza, which has led to the highest level of peace the Middle East has seen since World War II. (Applause.) Ronald Reagan and Democratic presidents like JFK constantly spoke to the Soviet Union at a time when Ronald Reagan called them an evil empire. And the reason is because they understood that we may not trust them, they may pose an extraordinary danger to this country, but we have the obligation to find areas where we can potentially move forward.

But Hillary Clinton, one of the architects of the diplomatic efforts in Iran as Vice President under Gore, disagreed, saying, “While I will not promise to meet with the leaders of these during my first year, I will promise a very vigorous diplomatic effort, because I think it is not that you promise a meeting at that high a level before you know what the intentions are. I don’t want to be used for propaganda purposes. I don’t want to make a situation even worse. We’re not going to just have our president meet with Fidel Castro and, you know, the president of North Korea.”

This was a curious reaction considering the successful waves of diplomacy initiated under Gore. Especially odd was her reference to making a promise, which wasn’t part of the question (the question was whether candidates would be willing to talk to hostile governments, not whether they would issue promises to that effect).

Clinton continues to distance herself from the progressive end of the Democratic party (and her own administration) by sounding the foreign policy mantras of her husband, who was centrist only in name and only within the relative scope of the era he presided.

Keep in mind just how far right the Reagan era swung the pendulum of political discourse. In many eras, Clinton the Husband’s foreign policy would have been considered far to the right and subservient to special interests, but he looked progressive when matched up against conservative Republicans and neo-cons (who wanted to invade Iraq, which would have been an unmitigated disaster).

Today, the U.S. still isn’t talking to Cuba, a harmless little island to the South whose fangs, if there ever were any, were removed by the fall of the Soviet Union. Diplomatic relations would only help the island’s economy. And maybe even ours. If we’re the good guys, there’s nothing left, right, or centrist about that position, and making an effort towards that regime or any other hostile regime can never be harmful.

Obama Concedes Iowa November 9, 2006

Posted by chuckwh in Barack Obama, Barak Obama, Iowa, Iowa Caucus, News and politics, Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Senator Barack Obama.
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Potential Democratic candidate Barack Obama (D, IL) today conceded Iowa, saying on the Oprah Winfrey show that, “Even if I were to run, and I am not suggesting that I am a candidate, but if I were to run, obviously I would have to concede to a defeat in Iowa to a very good man, Gov. Tom Vilsack, who has run the great state of Iowa admirably and professionally. He’s done great things for Iowa, and has lived up to the challenge of governing that state with aplomb.” Vilsack is governor of Iowa and the first stated Democratic presidential candidate. “Actually,” and with that Obama held up a ripe plum, “I meant to say that governing with plums is not easy, especially in a state that faces as many challenges as Iowa.
Yup, this is Oprah

“I think, especially, his challenge is a unique one in America, in that, and I say this with all candor, that, in rejecting the common notion that Iowa must undergo a conversion from an agricultural state to an industrial one, he has spoken to the people, and I admire him for this. Instead, he’s hooked into this notion, this audacity of hope, that perhaps Iowa is not a corn state, but a plum state. I see, because of this man’s vision, orchards of plum trees in Iowa, rising against the purple sunset.”

Upon saying that, the audience cheered wildly, and one woman ran up to Obama and jumped into his lap and kissed him. She was taken away by security guards, but could be heard screaming, “I love you, Obama, and I would give my plums for you!!! ”

In related news, former Virginia Governor Mark Warner, apparently hearing the approaching feet of the coming Vilsack blitzkrieg, today officially bowed out of the Democratic presidential nomination race.

http://www.cnn.com/2006/POLITICS/11/09/vilsack.president.ap/index.html?eref=rss_topstories